Qatari-Austrian relations witness sustainable growth
March 04 2019 09:51 PM
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

The visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Austria comes as part of the wise leadership's strategy and the keenness to keep strong and robust communication, co-operation and co-ordination with other states. This serves Qatar's economic goals and plans, developmental programmes, its aspirations, and its benefits in various fields. 
His Highness the Amir is expected to hold talks with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. During the talks, they will touch on the bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to boost and develop them in various fields. They will also discuss a number of topics of common interest. 
The relations between Austria and Qatar are strong, deep, progressing and continuously growing. It covers many fields such as political, economic, sports, culture, and tourism. Qatar is also an important economic partner of Austria where the volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounted to $250mn in 2015 and Austrian small- and medium-sized companies began to find their way to Qatar, whereas Qatari investments to Austria continue to grow, especially in real estate. 
The bilateral relations between Qatar and Austria began in the 1970s, and Qatar was one of the first Gulf countries that initiated the opening of an embassy in Vienna in 1975, and in the same year a medical office was opened to meet the needs of many Qatari nationals who travel to Austria for treatment. 
The two countries exchanged visits by senior officials who contributed to the promotion and revitalisation of bilateral relations, including the visit of the Austrian president in February 2009 to Doha, accompanied by a high-level economic delegation. The same goes for the Qatari side, HE Dr Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, who was then Minister of State for International Co-operation and Acting Minister of Business and Trade, visited the Austrian capital in November 2009 with an economic delegation, giving the bilateral relations a new impetus.
The visit of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Vienna in 2010 inaugurated a new chapter in the history of relations between the two countries and established broad prospects for bilateral co-operation and the development of economic and trade relations between the two countries. 

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz

Following this visit, Austria decided to open an embassy in Doha and on the sidelines of the inauguration in December 2011, the Austrian president visited Doha and stressed on the importance of promoting the economic and trade relations between both countries, as well as encouraging joint investments between the businessmen of both states. 
He also affirmed upgrading the level of diplomatic relations to lay the foundations of a new strategy for co-operation between the two countries in the economic, trade and investment.
In September 2018, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani visited Austria and met with Austrian Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl, where they discussed the bilateral relations and ways to boost and develop them as well as a number of topics of common interest. 
In November of 2015, another round of political talks was held between the ministries of foreign affairs of Qatar and Austria during which they discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields and means of supporting them and developing them.
With regards to the economy, there is a joint Qatari-Austrian desire to strengthen ties and to allow for greater trade and wider opportunities to attract Austrian investment to serve the mutual interests of both parties. In 2003, a Qatari-Austrian economic forum was held in Vienna, under the supervision of the Society for Austro-Arab relations. 
In December 2016, the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a Qatari-Austrian relations seminar where Austrian ambassador to Qatar Willi Kemble was invited. The ambassador affirmed the existence of future projects and important economic issues to be discussed between the two countries. 
He pointed out that there are many Austrian companies that are active in carrying out a number of important projects which are being held in Qatar, including the rail project and hospital management, in addition to many Austrian companies participating in the projects preparing for the World Cup Qatar 2022. 
He also highlighted the integration of many Austrians into Qatari society, some of which work in sports and Aspire Sports Academy, including those working in aviation and airport security.
Qatar and Austria play effective, distinct and co-ordinated roles in the service of humanity, international security, and peace. The two countries also play roles that seek active mediation to settle disputes and resolve issues in many of the world's areas of conflict. Both countries are also meeting points for many international events and conferences such as interfaith dialogue. In Vienna, there is a United Nations headquarters which a hosting site for a large number of international organisations and bodies. 

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